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Le Givre a Veneux

Alfred Sisley

Artwork Details

Le Givre a Veneux
Alfred Sisley
oil on canvas
31 1/4 in x 40 1/2 in x 3 1/8 in (79.38 cm x 102.87 cm x 7.94 cm);18 15/16 in x 28 1/16 in (48.1 cm x 71.28 cm);20 3/16 in x 29 1/8 in (51.28 cm x 73.98 cm)

On Display

Not currently on display


2014 Additions:
Alfred Sisley
England, born France, 1839–1899
Le Givre à Veneux (Frost at Veneux)
Oil on canvas
Bequest from the Estate and Trust of Elise Reeder Olton, GO2014.1.13
Sisley was born to well-to-do English parents but lived nearly his entire life in France, where his father had commercial interests. He was an early member of a group of young painters—including Claude Monet (1840–1926), Frédéric Bazille (1841–1870), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)—championing a new approach to painting that came to be known as Impressionism. Rather than inventing paintings in the studio, these painters worked en plein air (meaning “in the open air”). Their goal was to look at nature afresh rather than through the conventions of academic landscape painting, producing a vision mediated only by the artist’s own temperament.
Beginning in the 1870s, Sisley lived in villages around the town of Fontainebleau, located southeast of Paris. This region had attracted landscape painters throughout the nineteenth century. Here he has captured a view of a late autumn frost in the town of Veneux-les-Sablons. Fluid brushwork and a rich palette animate the surface of the canvas, enlivening an otherwise ordinary scene of women working beneath trees along a rural path. Sisley wrote to a friend in 1892, “there is always a best-loved corner in a canvas; this is where the center of the theme is, and this is, in a way, the point to which the artist must lead the spectator.”

Physical Description:

A country scene with swirls of color all around. There are two distant reddish-colored buildings ibehind a fence that runs along the left side of the dirt path, which recedes to a vanishing point at the center of the work. Trees line the right-hand side of the dirth path. Two people in the lower right corner appear to be working; one stands straight, while the other bends over.

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